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A LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 departing LAX (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale)

Peru To Resume International Flights This Month

After a seven-month suspension, Peru is reopening its skies to commercial flight operations in October. The country’s international trade and tourism minister, Rocio Barrios, announced that international travel will resume on Oct. 5, reinstating commercial connectivity with other Latin American countries first.

In an interview with a national radio station, Barrios announced that Peru will first resume flights to other Latin American countries. The list includes Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Panama and Mexico. As customary, flyers will be required to wear a facemask throughout the journey and will have to present a negative COVID-19 test result in order to board the aircraft. Though the number of flights to be operated has yet to be announced, carriers such as LATAM, SKY, Avianca Airlines and Copa Airlines are already showing updated schedules on their websites.

South America’s largest carrier LATAM will fly daily from Peru’s capital of Lima to Santiago, Chile, while low-cost carrier SKY will operate four frequencies per week on the same route. Avianca is showing flights between Lima and Bogota in Colombia from Oct. 25, while no airline is showing flights from Peru to Panama or Mexico soon.

Scheduled operations to the U.S. and Europe will recommence at a later stage. This does not mean, however, there is no air service between Peru and the two continents as airlines have been operating and will continue to operate “special flights that can be purchased by citizens and residents” of destination countries or regions. Nevertheless, these flights tend to come at a healthy price premium and limit their scopes to those who are eligible to travel and those with a tangible need to do so.

As Peru restarts international operations, the country will also be opening its borders which have been closed to international short-term visitors since March. Authorities will be requiring all of those traveling into the country to present a negative test result certificate taken at most 48 hours before travel. This leaves a shorter test window than neighboring Colombia, which leaves 96 hours for international visitors to test themselves for COVID-19 before traveling.

Peru joins Colombia as one of the first South American nations to reopen borders after mass lockdown measures were imposed across the world back in March. Chile’s borders, on the other hand, still remain close to international visitors, which means that flights between Peru and Chile will be limited to Chilean citizens and residents until the country reopens its borders, which analysts expect to happen soon.

Peru expects to have received 1 million tourists by the end of the year, factoring arrivals from January to March. While this seems optimistic given it represents 25% of 2019 international visitor levels, the country is confident that regional tourism will rebound in the last quarter of the year.

Jose Antonio Payet
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Jose Antonio Payet
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